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Mon, 6 July 2020

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EXCL Grenfell tragedy ‘could happen again tomorrow’, says Labour MP

EXCL Grenfell tragedy ‘could happen again tomorrow’, says Labour MP
3 min read

The failure to ban combustible cladding means the Grenfell tragedy “could happen again tomorrow”, the MP for the area where the disaster happened has claimed.


Emma Dent Coad said that survivors of the fire and the victims’ families were furious because they do not want other people to go through what they experienced last June.

Dame Judith Hackitt concluded in her review into building regulations and fire safety last month that a ban on combustible materials such as those at Grenfell would not address the root causes of risk.

In an interview with The House magazine, Ms Dent Coad, the MP for Kensington, said she was “quite literally gobsmacked” by the “fudge on cladding.”

She said: “How on earth can we say that it’s okay? Are we going to have cladding which is a little bit flammable now and so long as it’s fitted right it’ll be okay? Who’s going to check that?

“We’ll find out what happened, but supposedly the fitting and the cladding was checked. So, how on earth can you propose a system which has already failed so dramatically?

“People died in the most hideous way you can imagine. And now we’re going to say it’s okay just so long as we tighten up the rules a bit?

“For a lot of people, it’s quite visceral for them, the fact that that ruling has not been made. Because they don’t want anybody to go through what they’ve been through.

“I did feel like it was a complete betrayal. That means that this could happen again tomorrow. Which it could, at the moment it could.”

In her report, Dame Judith called for fundamental reform to improve safety and said radical changes are needed to fix the “broken” system of building regulations.

Theresa May said after the review that she was “minded” to outlaw flammable cladding used on high-rise buildings, but stopped short of saying it would happen.

The Government has pledged £400m to help councils and social landlords strip cladding panels and is consulting on a wider ban.

‘SPREADING OUT THE BLAME’

Ms Dent Coad also railed against a “hardening” of attitudes towards the disaster and lamented “desperately unfair” criticism of so-called ‘stay put’ orders issued by the London Fire Brigade on the night of the fire.

Speaking before it emerged the Metropolitan Police is investigating the London Fire Brigade over its use of the policy at Grenfell, the Labour MP said: “The advice is correct for a building that is being maintained properly.

“A building that has had holes drilled through all kinds of places, the windows don’t fit and it’s wrapped up in solid petrol, that’s not appropriate, but you can’t blame the fire brigade for that.

“I feel that’s what’s happening at the moment and that’s desperately unfair. The advice is correct for a building of that age.

“I think it’s very unfair to criticise the fire brigade for something which was completely unprecedented."

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